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Client Service Level Agreement

South Africa has a large number of excellent Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Financial Directors available to assist companies on a part time basis. Many of these experienced professionals can demonstrate a strong track record of success and commercial acumen in their previous positions.

At the forefront of today’s new world of work, Acctus allows companies to tap into this abundant pool of financial, strategic and commercial acumen by providing them with part time CFOs and other qualified accountants who are available to work as independent contractors (“the Independent Contractor”) on cost effective and flexible hourly rates. When appropriate, the Independent Contractor may use technology to work remotely from home.

Herewith are the terms and conditions upon which the Provider will provide the services of an Independent Contractor to work for the Client, and the terms and conditions upon which the Client will use the services of the Provider and of the Independent Contractor.

  1. PROVIDER UNDERTAKINGS
    1. The Provider will make available the services of an experienced finance professional who will provide their services to the Client as an Independent Contractor.
    2. The Provider will pay the Independent Contractor for work undertaken for the Client as outlined in Section 3 below called Weekly Billings Cycle.
    3. When appropriate, and with the agreement of the Client, the Independent Contractor may work remotely, often from home. The hours of work will not be set, and they will be free to work for other Clients and / or Providers.
    4. Unless otherwise disclosed by the Provider to the Client, the Independent Contractor will have an accounting qualification.
    5. Unless otherwise disclosed by the Provider to the Client, the Independent Contractor will have in excess of 10 years of accounting or financial experience.
    6. In the interests of transparency the Provider will disclose the hourly rate paid to the Independent Contractor to the Client as well as the hourly rate agreed with the Client to the Independent Contractor. 
    7. The Provider may use technology such as WhatsApp, shared Google documents and Zoom to communicate regularly with the Client and the Independent Contractor for the duration of an assignment. On many occasions the contact will be brief, but when required more extensive contact may be appropriate to ensure the optimal outcome of an assignment.
  1. CLIENT UNDERTAKINGS
      1. The Client shall pay for the services of the Independent Contractor as outlined in Section 3 below called Weekly Billings Cycle at the Client rate agreed with the Provider.
      2. The Client will be responsible for explaining the requirements of the assignment to be undertaken by the Independent Contractor and for the monitoring of the quality of the work done by the Independent Contractor, and to terminate the assignment if they are not satisfied with the same.
      3. When appropriate, and as agreed between the Client and the Independent Contractor, the Independent Contractor may work remotely, in most instances from home. 
      4. In the event that the Client requires the Independent Contractor to work or attend meetings at the premises of the Client, or another agreed upon location, the Client will agree directly with the Independent Contractor whether any reimbursements for travel, living or accommodation expenses will apply and how such agreed upon reimbursements will be made.
      5. Unless the Client specifically offers the Independent Contractor a full time position and the Independent Contractor accepts the same, according to the terms outlined in Section 5 of this Agreement, the Client will not employ the Independent Contractor on a full time basis and, in the main, the hours in which the Independent Contractor chooses to do the work will not be prescribed.
      6. The Client agrees that the Independent Contractor will be free to undertake work for other Clients and / or other Providers.
      7. The Client agrees that they understand Clause 198 of the Labour Relations Act, and in the unlikely event of the Independent Contractor invoking the Deeming clause after 12 weeks, the Provider can in no way be held responsible for the legal rights of the Independent Contractor at that time, or any costs or damages that may arise for the Client from such invocation of the Deeming clause whatsoever.
      8. The Client will not hold the Provider responsible for any false information provided by the Independent Contractor to the Provider and / or the Client.
      9. The Client will under no circumstances claim damages from the Provider which may result from the actions of or work done by the Independent Contractor.
      10. The Client agrees that they will at no time have authority over the internal business affairs and decision of the Provider or of the Independent Contractor.
      11. The Client agrees to and accepts both the Client hourly rate and the Independent Contractor rate as fair, provided that the Client has agreed thereto in writing.
      12. The Client agrees that they will not under any circumstances contact, or attempt to contact, the Independent Contractor after the Provider has introduced the Independent Contractor to the Client with a view to bypassing the services of the Supplier. Any such attempt to contact the Independent Contractor directly after having been introduced to the Client by the Provider with a view to bypassing the services of the Supplier will be considered a serious breach of this agreement and if such attempt leads to any work done whatsoever directly by the Independent Contractor for the Client, a penalty calculated according to 2.13.2 below will immediately become effective and payable, with clauses 2.13.3 and 2.13.4 becoming applicable as well.
      13. The Client agrees that they will under no circumstances or at any time whatsoever approach or suggest to the Independent Contractor that they circumvent the Provider by billing the Client for any hours of work undertaken directly.
        1. The Client accepts that any such circumvention of the Provider by using the services of the Independent Contractor directly during the course of an assignment or for a period of 12 months thereafter, will constitute a serious breach of the Agreement. 
        2. In the event of such a direct engagement of the Independent Contractor, the Client agrees to pay the Provider a penalty calculated as follows: “25% x R1,000 per hour x 20 hours per week x  26 weeks”. This equates to a penalty fee of R130,000 (one hundred and thirty thousand rand).
        3. The Client agrees to make payment of the penalty as outlined above within 7 days of receipt of the invoice for the penalty.
        4. In the event of such a direct engagement of the Independent Contractor, and the payment of the penalty in full, this Agreement will no longer be in force and the Client will be free to engage with the Independent Contractor directly.
  1. WEEKLY BILLING AND CONTRACTOR PAYMENT CYCLE
    1. The Service provider operates a weekly billing cycle running from Saturday to Friday of every week.
    2. The Independent Contractor will be requested by the Provider to communicate on every day worked, using a shared Google spreadsheet (this document being shared by the Independent Contractor, the Client and the Provider) the hours worked that day for the duration of an assignment. This shared Google spreadsheet, a ‘live’ document that will at all times be available to all three parties, will be referred to as the weekly Timesheet. This shared weekly Timesheet will give the Client access to the number of hours worked to date by the Independent Contractor at any time and whenever the Client wishes to access this information.
    3. The Independent Contractor will complete and sign the weekly Timesheet by electronic signature by 17h00 of every Friday during the course of an assignment, indicating the total number of hours worked in that week.
    4. The Client agrees to sign the weekly Timesheet by electronic signature as soon as possible and no later than 17h00 of the following Monday, irrespective of whether the Monday falls on a public holiday or not. This Monday is referred to as Day 1 of the Billing cycle.
    5. If the Client disagrees with the weekly total provided as per 3.3 above, they will alert the Independent Contractor and the Provider as soon as possible, by no later than 17h00 of the following Monday, i.e. Day 1. 
    6. In the unlikely event of such disagreement between the Independent Contractor and the Client regarding the hours on the Timesheet for the previous week, bearing in mind that the weekly Timesheet is a ‘live’ shared document that is completed daily by the Independent Contractor, the Provider will work with both parties to resolve the disagreement before 17h00 on Tuesday. This Tuesday is referred to as Day 2.
    7. The Provider will provide the Client with a weekly invoice by 17h00 on each Wednesday for the hours of work completed in the previous week. This Wednesday is referred to as Day 3.
    8. The Client agrees to pay each invoice in full by 17h00 on the following Wednesday, i.e. Day 10 (7 days after the invoice date).
    9. The Provider undertakes to pay the Independent Contractor by 17h00 on the Wednesday after this, i.e. Day 17 (14 days after the invoice date).
    10. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the Client, the Provider agrees that the agreed upon Independent Contractor rate will apply to all work undertaken by the Independent Contractor, including work that may be done outside of normal work hours, weekends or public holidays. 
  1. TERMINATION OF AN ASSIGNMENT
    1. The Provider requests that the Client will give at least 7 days notice of their intention to terminate an assignment.
    2. Notwithstanding the above, the Client will have the right to terminate the services of the Independent Contractor at any time and without giving notice in the event of dissatisfaction with the work done.
    3. The Provider will request the Independent Contractor to give at least 7 days notice of their intention to terminate an assignment but cannot guarantee the same.
  1. PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT OF THE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
    1. In the event of the Client taking on the Independent Contractor as a permanent employee, the Client agrees to pay the Provider a Permanent Placement Fee calculated as follows: “Cash portion of the annual remuneration package agreed x 15%”. For the sake of clarity, the “cash portion of the annual remuneration package” is defined simply as the gross monthly salary amount x 12. 
    2. The Client agrees to provide the Provider with a copy of the letter of offer for the permanent position showing the cash portion of the remuneration agreed, i.e. the gross monthly salary.
    3. The Client agrees to inform the Provider of their intention to offer the Independent Contractor a permanent position within 24 hours of doing so and to inform the Provider of the Independent Contractor’s acceptance or rejection of the offer as soon as the Independent Contractor has made a decision.
    4. The Client agrees not to use the provisions set out in Section 2, and Section 2.13.2 in particular, of this Agreement to avoid paying a Permanent Placement fee, and gives their express agreement to the payment of the Permanent Placement fee outlined in 5.1 above in the event of offering the Independent Contractor a permanent position which they accept.
  1. GENERAL
    1. This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding of the Parties with regard to the subject matter hereof and supersedes any prior discussions of representations between them with respect hereto. All amendments to this Agreement shall be in writing and signed by both Parties.
    2. The Client may not assign this Agreement or any of its rights hereunder without written consent of the Provider, which shall not be unreasonably withheld.
    3. The relevant rights and obligations of the Parties shall survive the termination of this Agreement.
    4. All notices, requests, demands or communication required hereunder shall be in writing by email in the first instance. Should email not be acknowledged by the receiving Party within 3 working days of being sent, then the same notice, request, demand or communication shall be in writing, delivered personally or by mail, either certified, registered or express mail, at the respective addresses set forth herein (or at such other addresses as shall be given in writing by one Party to the other).
  1. GOVERNING LAW AND ATTORNEY FEE PROVISION
    1. This Agreement and any disputes arising from the relationship of the Parties to this Agreement, shall be governed by the laws of South Africa.
    2. In any litigation, arbitration, or other proceeding by which one Party either seeks to enforce its rights under this Agreement (whether in contract, tort or both) or seeks a declaration of any rights or obligations under this Agreement, the prevailing Party shall be awarded its reasonable Attorney fees, and costs and expenses incurred.